Nanomaterials2015, 5(3), 1181-1199; doi:10.3390/nano5031181 (registering DOI) - published 2 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Development of a rapid, sensitive and cost-effective method for toxicity assessment of commonly used nanoparticles is urgently needed for the sustainable development of nanotechnology. A neural cell with high sensitivity and conductivity has become a potential candidate for a cell chip to investigate toxicity of environmental influences. A neural cell immobilized on a conductive surface has become a potential tool for the assessment of nanotoxicity based on electrochemical methods. The effective electrochemical monitoring largely depends on the adequate attachment of a neural cell on the chip surfaces. Recently, establishment of integrin receptor specific ligand molecules arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) or its several modifications RGD-Multi Armed Peptide terminated with cysteine (RGD-MAP-C), C(RGD)4 ensure farm attachment of neural cell on the electrode surfaces either in their two dimensional (dot) or three dimensional (rod or pillar) like nano-scale arrangement. A three dimensional RGD modified electrode surface has been proven to be more suitable for cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation as well as electrochemical measurement. This review discusses fabrication as well as electrochemical measurements of neural cell chip with particular emphasis on their use for nanotoxicity assessments sequentially since inception to date. Successful monitoring of quantum dot (QD), graphene oxide (GO) and cosmetic compound toxicity using the newly developed neural cell chip were discussed here as a case study. This review recommended that a neural cell chip established on a nanostructured ligand modified conductive surface can be a potential tool for the toxicity assessments of newly developed nanomaterials prior to their use on biology or biomedical technologies.
Nanomaterials2015, 5(3), 1163-1180; doi:10.3390/nano5031163 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nanoparticles are emerging as a useful tool for a wide variety of biomedical, consumer and instrumental applications that include drug delivery systems, biosensors and environmental sensors. In particular, nanoparticles have been shown to offer greater specificity with enhanced bioavailability and less detrimental side effects as compared to the existing conventional therapies in nanomedicine. Hence, bionanotechnology has been receiving immense attention in recent years. However, despite the extensive use of nanoparticles today, there is still a limited understanding of nanoparticle-mediated toxicity. Both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that nanoparticles are closely associated with toxicity by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and/or the levels of pro-inflammatory mediators. The homeostatic redox state of the host becomes disrupted upon ROS induction by nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are also known to up-regulate the transcription of various pro-inflammatory genes, including tumor necrosis factor-α and IL (interleukins)-1, IL-6 and IL-8, by activating nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. These sequential molecular and cellular events are known to cause oxidative stress, followed by severe cellular genotoxicity and then programmed cell death. However, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying nanotoxicity are not fully understood. This lack of knowledge is a significant impediment in the use of nanoparticles in vivo. In this review, we will provide an assessment of signaling pathways that are involved in the nanoparticle- induced oxidative stress and propose possible strategies to circumvent nanotoxicity.
Nanomaterials2015, 5(3), 1147-1162; doi:10.3390/nano5031147 - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aims of our present study were to establish a novel olfactory-based spatial learning test and to examine the effects of exposure to nano-sized diesel exhaust-origin secondary organic aerosol (SOA), a model environmental pollutant, on the learning performance in preweaning mice. Pregnant BALB/c mice were exposed to clean air, diesel exhaust (DE), or DE-origin SOA (DE-SOA) from gestational day 14 to postnatal day (PND) 10 in exposure chambers. On PND 11, the preweaning mice were examined by the olfactory-based spatial learning test. After completion of the spatial learning test, the hippocampus from each mouse was removed and examined for the expressions of neurological and immunological markers using real-time RT-PCR. In the test phase of the study, the mice exposed to DE or DE-SOA took a longer time to reach the target as compared to the control mice. The expression levels of neurological markers such as the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits NR1 and NR2B, and of immunological markers such as TNF-α, COX2, and Iba1 were significantly increased in the hippocampi of the DE-SOA-exposed preweaning mice as compared to the control mice. Our results indicate that DE-SOA exposure in utero and in the neonatal period may affect the olfactory-based spatial learning behavior in preweaning mice by modulating the expressions of memory function–related pathway genes and inflammatory markers in the hippocampus.
Nanomaterials2015, 5(3), 1136-1146; doi:10.3390/nano5031136 - published 29 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study, the effect of nanoparticle concentration was tested for both CuO and TiO2 in eutectic mixture of sodium and potassium nitrate. Results showed an enhancement in specific heat capacity (Cp) for both types of nanoparticles (+10.48% at 440 °C for 0.1 wt % CuO and +4.95% at 440 °C for 0.5 wt % TiO2) but the behavior toward a rise in concentration was different with CuO displaying its highest enhancement at the lowest concentration whilst TiO2 showed no concentration dependence for three of the four different concentrations tested. The production of cluster of nanoparticles was visible in CuO but not in TiO2. This formation of nanostructure in molten salt might promote the enhancement in Cp. However, the size and shape of these structures will most likely impact the energy density of the molten salt.
Nanomaterials2015, 5(2), 1124-1135; doi:10.3390/nano5021124 - published 23 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Ag nanoparticles were synthesized by using Ficus altissimaBlume leaf extract as a reducing agent at room temperature. The resulting Ag nanoparticles/PVA mixture was employed to create Ag nanoparticles/PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) hybrid nanofibers via an electrospinning technique. The obtained nanofibers were confirmed by means of UV-Vis spectroscopy, The X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and then tested to catalyze KBH4 reduction of methylene blue (MB). The catalytic results demonstrate that the MB can be reduced completely within 15 min. In addition, the Ag nanoparticles/PVA hybrid nanofibers show reusability for three cycles with no obvious losses in degradation ratio of the MB.
Nanomaterials2015, 5(2), 1102-1123; doi:10.3390/nano5021102 - published 16 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nanomaterial science and design have shifted from generating single passive nanoparticles to more complex and adaptive multi-component nanohybrids. These adaptive nanohybrids (ANHs) are designed to simultaneously perform multiple functions, while actively responding to the surrounding environment. ANHs are engineered for use as drug delivery carriers, in tissue-engineered templates and scaffolds, adaptive clothing, smart surface coatings, electrical switches and in platforms for diversified functional applications. Such ANHs are composed of carbonaceous, metallic or polymeric materials with stimuli-responsive soft-layer coatings that enable them to perform such switchable functions. Since ANHs are engineered to dynamically transform under different exposure environments, evaluating their environmental behavior will likely require new approaches. Literature on polymer science has established a knowledge core on stimuli-responsive materials. However, translation of such knowledge to environmental health and safety (EHS) of these ANHs has not yet been realized. It is critical to investigate and categorize the potential hazards of ANHs, because exposure in an unintended or shifting environment could present uncertainty in EHS. This article presents a perspective on EHS evaluation of ANHs, proposes a principle to facilitate their identification for environmental evaluation, outlines a stimuli-based classification for ANHs and discusses emerging properties and dynamic aspects for systematic EHS evaluation.